Memorial is today. I remember when Greg first told me the story about Don and Gee Nicholl. They lived in England. It gets cold in England. Don was a struggling writer. They would talk sometimes about how much easier it would be if there was just some help for struggling writers. Then, Don Nicholl got very prosperous. He worked on All in the Family. He worked on other shows. They did real well. And then she lost him.
But she remembered those conversations. And others, about how it would be good to do something that made it easier on young writers than they had had it. And she set up the Nicholl Fellowship. First at Stanford. Later at the Academy. And she named it after him.
I did not know Gee Nicholl well. She was a nice lady who came to the awards ceremonies. She was polite and gracious. She dressed well. She was not always in good health.
And she singlehandedly created the fellowship that, in 1994, changed my life. And not just my life. The Nicholl Fellowship has touched more writers and not just the winners. Also the finalists. Also the runners up. So many many struggling writers whose lives have been forever changed because Gee Nicholl remembered what it was like to be worried about the heat being turned off in a cold English flat.